Tips to Reducing Back Pain and Stress During the Holiday Season
December 18, 2019 by: Dr. Luis Tumialán
With so much going on around the holiday season, it’s not surprising that this time of year can bring about a certain level of stress. Stress can be one of the elements that lead to back pain. Do yourself a favor this year, and follow a few simple tips to ensure that you’re still enjoying all that this time of year has to offer, but without any unnecessary pain. Here are a few simple ways to reduce back pain and stress during one of the busiest times of the year.
Plan, Plan, Plan
One of the most stressful things about the holidays is that there is just so much to do! You can help reduce your stress by planning ahead as much as possible. You can create a simple to-do list for daily tasks and even a monthly calendar to get you through the extremely busy days ahead. Planning ahead can help reduce your chances of fatigue, which, in turn, will help reduce your chances of muscle tension or joint strain. If you have adolescent children, do not hesitate to give them a list of things to do. Put them to work.
Take a Timeout
When you feel tired, make sure you’re allowing yourself to rest. Yes, there are many things to do, but your health should be your number one priority. Pushing yourself past the point of exhaustion can lead to a variety of issues for your body or even injury. You can even go so far as to plan in a time to rest. Your body will thank you for it!
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet as you prepare for the holidays can seem almost impossible. However, eating well can certainly go a long way toward keeping your stress levels low. Plus, unnecessary weight gain may lead to pressure and strain on your back. Give yourself plenty of time to sit down and have a real meal, so your body is functioning at its best. Also, consider incorporating intermittent fasting to unleash the power of your metabolism.
We all know how important water is. Make sure that you’re staying hydrated during this busy season. Keep a bottle of water nearby and sip on it throughout the day. Not only will this help your overall mood, but it will ensure that your body is less likely to get sore and stiff.
One of the most common injuries to our backs is due to improper lifting. You may be rearranging furniture to make way for holiday decorations or guests. If so, make sure that you take a few moments to ensure that you’re lifting properly and not taking on too much weight. Have a partner join you in lifting anything over 40 pounds. Many hands make light work. It's not the weight rather the position of your back lifting the weight that has the potential to cause an injury. Always bend at the knees not at the waist.
If you know you’ll be participating in heavy lifting or other activities, then don’t forget to stretch it out. Yoga or even just a few stretches prior to activity can go a long way towards reducing your stress and protecting your joints and ligaments.
Another great tip is to enjoy yourself simply. Try not to get too caught up in the planning and organizing that you stress yourself out. After all, this time of year is all about family, friends, and coming together to celebrate. Keep that as the focus, and you are much less likely to stress out and cause an injury.
The holidays are such a joyful time of year. However, it's also a time that can come with a little more stress and activity than we’re used to. Make sure you keep your body and mind a priority during this hectic season.
If you are struggling with pain, weakness, loss of function, or other symptoms of spinal complications, contact Dr. Tumialán's office today.